DID WELKER-TRUMP 'INTERVIEW' VIOLATE NBC NEWS WRITTEN GUIDELINES? - 9.18.23
SEASON 2 EPISODE 37: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN
A-Block (1:44 ) BREAKING: Have Meet The Press staffers including Kristen Welker violated NBC News’s own WRITTEN JOURNALISTIC guidelines – what it called “The NBC News Employee Handbook” – in failing to correct or fact-check Trump or in some significant way warn Meet The Press viewers yesterday that he was spreading provable falsehoods on their network in a pre-taped interview that provided NBC News three full days to document those falsehoods? Did NBC News make a deal with Trump’s campaign to make sure that didn’t happen – to NOT materially fact-check him on-the-air during the disastrous Kristen Welker interview? I do NOT yet know with complete assurance the answer to these questions.
I DO know they are among many questions being asked INSIDE NBC right now, in part because of ONE tweet, and in part because of the awful realization that some sort of illicit pre-arrangement is an almost BETTER explanation than that Welker, and Meet The Press, and NBC News, abrogated virtually every one of its journalistic responsibilities in a Chris Licht-level dumpster fire that has left the long time viability of Welker, and her Executive Producer, and the nearly 76 year old program itself, up in the air.
I do NOT know for certain that there is an internal investigation. I DO know veterans within NBC News are pushing for one based on the following timeline: Welker and NBC News reporter Dasha Burns were among a dozen Washington insiders who were quote “wining and dining” with Trump thugs Jason Miller, Steven Cheung and Chris LaCivita at a steakhouse called “Rare” the night before the Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee. The dinner was August 22nd, Welker had been named the host-in-waiting for Meet The Press on June 5th, the interview was suddenly announced late in the day last Wednesday, the 13th, conducted on Thursday the 14th. Contacts or discussions between Meet The Press and the Trump campaign about editorial restrictions - at that dinner or elsewhere - would be a major issue.
The more PRESSING problem is: at exactly 10 A-M Eastern yesterday, NBC News posted on its website, a fact check of Welker’s interview. At 10:13 A-M its “Meet The Press” account tweeted this, verbatim: Quote “Former President Trump made a spate of false and misleading comments about immigration, foreign policy, abortion and more in a wide-ranging interview with Meet The Press moderator Kristen Welker,” unquote.
The problem is that the NBC News Employee handbook requires – or required – I was never given one, though I was given access to one, and I haven’t personally seen a revised copy and am relying on others quoting it to me – that if they knowingly broadcast or publish lies false or misleading comments or information by anyone in any non-live format without a disclaimer or caveat or… a fact-check – they have violated the NBC News Employee codes and are potentially subject to punishment up to and including suspension and termination.
On the one hand, NBC News is posting a fact-check of what, at 11:30 AM, it tweeted were “at least 11 times during President Trump’s interview" when Trump was not truthful. "Here’s our fact check." While on the other hand, someone in a position of authority at NBC News decided – made certain – that there was no SIMILAR fact check ON the television broadcast itself, other than a passing mention directing viewers to the website.
But in confirming Trump quote “made a spate of false and misleading comments” in a piece posted ON THE NBC NEWS WEBSITE, they are underscoring that they failed to clearly flag and disclaim and caveat – and WARN – that Trump was MAKING those “false and misleading comments” on their television network, and in all the clips shown on MSNBC, CNBC, and the NBC owned and affiliated statements. The Meet The Press telecast, of course, SKIPPED anything resembling the online fact-check.
B-Block (25:16 ) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: ABC's John Parkinson boasts about shouting at President Biden asking if he'll pardon his son - as he visits the churchyard where his son is buried. News organizations ignore a Trumpist Terrorist near the Biden home (if it had been Kavanaugh's house they'd be talking martial law) and Drew Barrymore sees the light but Bill Maher is still a Scumbag SCAB.
C-Block (31:20 ) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: A fitting time to bring up 2009 and the day Jeff Zucker called us in to his NBC President's office and announced that our corporate boss Jeff Immelt was ready to take MSNBC off the air because his mommy was a fan of Bill O'Reilly and was mad that I was criticizing Bill. Seriously.
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